Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cardinal Pell Definitely Isn't Trying to Get on Algore's Good Side

Last Wednesday (26 Oct 2011), Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia gave an address in London at Westminster Cathedral Hall. Cardinal Pell spoke at the annual lecture of London's Global Warming Policy Foundation. The lecture was titled “Eppur’ si muove, or ‘yet it moves:’ One Christian Perspective on Climate Change.” What he said was definitely not intended to win fans in the global warming/climate change/climate disruption (insert today's label here) gang.
In short he called those pushing for sweeping changes at any cost arrogant. He talked about their “totalitarian approach to opposing views, their demonizing of successful opponents and their opposition to the publication of opposing views even in scientific journals."
I found his title interesting as "Eppur’ si muove" is what Galileo is supposed to have muttered after recanting his heliocentrism in the face of a “scientific consensus.” Now a days the "scientific consensus" gang use Galileo as a club to attack the Catholic Church as antiscientist while doing the very thing to those that disagree with the consensus (ie: climate change, evolution, embryonic stem cell research for example) they are pushing.
The lecture begins with comparing the current scientific attitude of today to that of those who built the Tower of Babel. He quotes Leon R. Kass' "The Beginning of Wisdom". Pell points out that Kass says "metaphor of the tower is ambiguous, but could be seen as a presumptuous attempt to control or appropriate the divine." Pell goes on to add that "'Kass sees God's intervention as only highlighting the inevitable failure of an attempt to impose a single world-view, "the all-too-human, prideful attempt at self-creation'". & that "Kass believes that in today's Western world 'the project of Babel has been making a comeback.... Science and technology are again in the ascendancy, defying political boundaries en route to a projected human imperium over nature'. Kass asks 'Can our new Babel succeed?'"
From what I see in the justification of embryonic stem cell research or genetic manipulation of combining human & animal genes by proponants of that reseach, Kass hits it right on the nail.
Pell then goes on to explain why he is within his rights to speak out as a Bishop by answering the criticism by scientists of the Church I already mentioned.
He points out how Galileo's provocative claims on theology sharpened the tensions between him & the Church theologians at the time. He goes on to talk about the debate between Bishop Wilberforce & T. H. Huxley in 1860 at Oxford on the topic of Darwinian evolution. He points out how that debate has been misrepresented. He also shares what Darwin had to say about Wilberforce's 18,000-word review of The Origin of Species (1859) Darwin said it was "uncommonly clever", and made "a very telling case against me"
Pell then goes on to call those who say that "the science is truly settled" on the fundamental theory of climate change, that global warming is happening, that it is primarily caused by the emission of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide & it is certain to have profound effects in the future scientific fundamentalists. After looking at the problems with their so-called certainty he calls Algore's film, An Inconvenient Truth propaganda.
Pell goes on to look at some real "inconvenient truths" for those promoting the radical green agenda.
For instance not just weather but also "future climate states" are not reliably predictable in the long term. Or that "The influence of various solar mechanisms (such as sunspot activity) and changing ocean circulation, which are poorly understood, are "omitted from the climate models", as is the influence of major volcanoes such as the occasional mighty eruption of Krakatoa or Mount Saint Helens or the continuing eruptions deep in the ocean, brought to public attention by Professor Ian Plimer."
1 of the things he looks at in depth is how "Multiple lines of evidence show that in many places most of the 11,700 years since the end of the last Ice Age were warmer than the present by up to 2 degrees Celsius." He points out how "nobody seems too concerned about the Minoan warming of about 3,500 years ago. The Roman warming around 2,000 years ago provokes some heart burn, while we have seen attempts to erase the Medieval Warm period (850-1300AD) from history."
Pell mentions that "Professor Bob Carter lists eight different recent scientific studies from 2000-08 on proxy data such as tree-ring records, borehole temperature methods, and deep cores in glaciers, lake beds and ocean floors which demonstrate the existence of the Medieval Warming with temperatures equal to or higher than today."
Additionally "Dr. Craig Idso has collected papers over the past quarter of a century from more than 1000 scientists in 578 research institutions in 44 countries, providing evidence by a multitude of empirical methods that, taken together, establish that the Medieval Warm Period was real, was global, and was warmer than the present."
The evidence:
- Commercial vineyards in England flourished 300 to 500 kilometres north of twentieth century limits. So popular were quality English wines then that the French tried to have their sale banned on the Continent.
- In 1300 a farm owned by Kelso Abbey in southern Scotland had sheep and land under cultivation at 300 metres above sea level, well above today's limits.
- In Scandinavia and central Norway farming spread 100 to 200 metres further up valleys and hillsides. In this time forests in the Alps were between 80-200 metres higher than today. Bitter winters were a rarity.
- The warmer weather also allowed significant new colonisation. For four hundred years, from 800 to 1200 approximately, Vikings or Northmen from Scandinavia roamed European waterways, terrorising coastal areas. By 874 they had settled permanently in Iceland.
- From Iceland twenty-five ships of colonists sailed with him and fourteen arrived to establish the Eastern Settlement in south-west Greenland. Another group went further north to found the Western Settlement. These remained for nearly 400 years.
- At least one Viking burial places still lies in the Greenland permafrost and the Medieval Warming there remains as an inconvenient fact.

These are only a few examples used by Cardinal Pell. I could go on & on.
Pell concludes his talk with a suggestion of how to better spend the money used to make global warming go away. "He says that the "money should be used to raise living standards and reduce vulnerability to catastrophes and climate change (in whatever direction), so helping people to cope better with future challenges. We need to be able to afford to provide the Noahs of the future with the best arks science and technology can provide."
Calling for common sense & prudence Pell asks: "Are there any long term benefits from the schemes to combat global warming, apart from extra tax revenues for governments and income for those devising and implementing the schemes? Will the burdens be shared generally, or fall mainly on the shoulders of the battlers, the poor?" Then he reminds us of the Latin maxim "in dubio non agitur" (don't act when in doubt).
He ends by going back to Galileo. "When Galileo was placed under house arrest primarily because of his claim that the earth moved around the sun, he is said to have muttered 'Eppur' si muove'; and yet it moves.
As for Galileo so for us, the appeal must be to the evidence, not to any consensus, whatever the levels of confusion or self-interested coercion. First of all we need adequate scientific explanations as a basis for our economic estimates. We also need history, philosophy, even theology and many will use, perhaps create, mythologies. But most importantly we need to distinguish which is which
In short, Cardinal Pell laid out some good criteria for determining the truth. & consensus alone is NOT good criteria.
Those who say that the whole climate change disaster is settled science because of scientific concensus & refuse to look at any facts, no matter how overwhelming, to the contrary remind me of an old saying describing those with closed minds. "My mind is made up, don't confuse me with the facts." Yes, we need to be good stewards of creation. But it is clear that we can't base that stewardship on the claims of the modern builders of a new Tower of Babel.

For Cardinal Pell's full address to the 2011 Global Warming Policy Foundation Annual Lecture at Westminster Cathedral Hall, London on 26 October click here.
See also: Cardinal Pell: Climate Hysteria is Hubristic

H/T: Joanna Bogle (Cardinal George Pell...)



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